I often eat at our local restaurants in the Greenville areas such as Cracker Barrel, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, K&W Cafeteria and others several times a week where, as time permits, I usually have a book on Biblical textual criticism, ancient Near Eastern studies or, when I get tired that genre of study, I’m reading electronics.
It’s not unusual for my waiter or waitress to ask, “What are you reading?” When I show them the book’s title (if it’s something related to Biblical studies), they will ask me either: A) “Are you a Christian? or B) What church do you attend? When I tell them (respectively) that, “I’m not.” and “I don’t.”, at which time many often relate to me (without asking) their experiences in dealing with the after church crowds on Sunday afternoon and (around Baptist Greenville) Sunday nights too.
Since the real factor that keeps people coming to Sunday school and church is socializing, most Christians get up Sunday morning (after a short sleep in) and rush off to sit at some boring pre-canned Sunday school lesson then head straight into the hour long Worship Service where they are often told how worthless they are as sinners, but not so worthless that God needs all Saved Sinners to give tithes and offerings so he can stay in power.
When the Benediction is finally given (with penitence being done by having suffered for two hours), there is a mad rush to the parking lot with many of the congregation heading out to eat; by now with low blood sugar and a chip on their religious shoulders.
Arriving at their local favorite restaurant, Mr. and Mrs. Christian (with kids in tow) find that they were beat there by several other other churches that were either nearer the restaurant or because their preacher was not as long winded. Now someone has got to pay!
Over the years, restaurant food servers that I've gotten to know have told me that this Christian Sunday crowd is - without a doubt - the hardest to deal with. For one, compared with the average customer, they tend to be highly critical of the food (much like their God, as little makes them happy), often sending items back to the kitchen or wanting a discount due to poor food quality and service. This problem is often amplified when groups of ten or more Christians meet up and push tables together, thus tying up two or more waiters or waitresses for over an hour.
Finally (and all too often) when the Sunday church crowd leaves, there is one of three things left: A. A total of one or two dollars left as a tip, especially when a church crowd all sat together. B. No tip was left at all. C. Adding insult to injury, no tip was left, but a Gospel Tract was.
While I've never worked as a waiter, I can always tell it’s Sunday in Greenville because the men’s restroom has about three or four Gospel Tracts placed around the room from toilet stalls to urinal tops to the wash basins (usually these are the corny comic booklet Chick Tracts).
Ironically, it’s like these church crowds caught hell at worship and now it’s time to make other suffer too!